Monday, April 22, 2024

IATA Head Hits Out At Expensive PCR Tests For Travel, Questions Necessity

The head of global airline industry body IATA has hit out at the high cost of COVID-19 testing, accusing providers of profiteering from travel, and calling for the industry to challenge whether PCR tests are necessary.

European airlines are counting on a travel rebound this summer after months of COVID-19 restrictions left them struggling with minimal revenues and huge new debts taken on to survive the pandemic.

But any demand for PCR tests that can cost more than the short flights themselves threatens the recovery.

“We’re clearly seeing evidence of profiteering by people who have jumped on the testing bandwagon,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s new director general, said at a virtual industry conference on Tuesday.

He said that governments had mandated PCR tests and were then charging value added tax on the cost of the testing, a scenario which he said needed to be challenged.

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